Campaigns & Cases
Defend the Hudson:
Ellen Kozak’s paintings, video work and artists’ books have appeared in national and international exhibitions. Since 2000 she has had seven solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows. Collections in which her works are found include The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Fogg Art Museum, The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, The Jane Voorhees Zimerli Art Museum, The New York Public Library and Yale University Sterling Memorial Library among others.
Her artistic influences draw from a diverse background. During undergraduate school at the Massachusetts College of Art, Kozak also apprenticed with sculptor Alfred VanLoen. She was an early explorer of video, in its analog days, as a graduate student and fellow at The Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. Her video works have been shown in the States and abroad, including on WGBH’s Artists’ Showcase, at Documenta VI in Kassel, Germany, at The Osaka Museum of Art, and at BF/VF (the Boston Film Video Foundation.) Between 1982 and 1984, Kozak lived and worked in Japan where she taught English and was a lecturer at Seian University of Art and Design. While in Japan she worked on video projects with support from JVC and she studied shodô, Japanese calligraphy. This was an experience that proved transformative and influenced a shift in her means of expression towards painting.
Kozak moved to New York City in 1986. She began to paint in a studio in The Hudson River Valley following her 1990 residency at Yaddo. She had her first solo exhibition of paintings in New York at 55 Mercer Street Gallery in 1992. This was followed by solo exhibitions in 1994 at the Carolyn J. Roy Gallery, in 1996 at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery and in 1998 in the President’s Gallery at Pratt Institute where she is currently Adjunct Professor, CCE. The Hudson River Museum mounted a solo exhibition of her paintings in 2001-2002. River Trilogy: Ellen Kozak, her solo show at The Katonah Museum of Art in 2009-2010, included paintings as well as her video, Notations on A River, commissioned by The Katonah Museum of Art.
The activity of painting on-site is a fundamental cornerstone of Kozak’s practice and her work, which extends to artists’ books and video. In 1996 Cross-Cultural Communications published Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes: Notations on a Landscape.This limited edition includes a foreword by Dore Ashton with Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes. In 2005 her artists’ book Tree of Names and A River was created at Dieu Donné Papermill with a grants from the George Sugarman Foundation and Pratt Institute. Kozak has been awarded additional residencies at Yaddo, The Blue Mountain Center and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Reviews of her work have appeared in The New Yorker,The New York Times, Art in America, Art & Antiques and other publications.
In 2012 her residency in Auvillar, France, the Prix Moulin à Nef, provided her with a studio on the bank of the Garonne River where she painted and continued working with video. Kozak has studios in New York City and in the Hudson River Valley.